Tag Archives: General Assembly

Jim Crow legislature protected Confederate States

General_Assembly_1902We have an opinion from Virginia’s Attorney General that a statute passed by the Jim Crow General Assembly in 1902-04, and in its various iterations since, protects the offending Confederate soldier statues around the Commonwealth including the confederate soldier statue in Leesburg, erected in 1908, hefting his rifle, pointed toward all persons approaching the County courthouse.

The Attorney General states that “[t]he historical antecedent” was passed by the General Assembly in February 1904, providing that such a monument could not be “disturbed” and had to be “protected.”

The Attorney General in an advisory opinion states that we should make “a careful investigation of the history and facts concerning a particular monument in a given locality.”

Rather, we should investigate “the history and the facts” of the racially intolerant legislators who passed this law in 1902-04, as part of a constitutionally impermissible schema, calculated to offend and suppress blacks in Virginia.

In 1902, our elected representatives with too few dissenters to matter sought “to purify” the ballot box, to chill and bar blacks from exercising the franchise, and to discourage the belief that it was a self-evident truth that all men and women were created equal.

Virginia created a distasteful constitution in 1902 with the express objective of restoring white supremacy.

Presiding over Virginia’s constitutional convention in 1902, John Goode said that the 15th amendment, providing for African American suffrage, was “a stupendous blunder” and “a crime against civilization and Christianity.” Continue reading

“Lazarus Play” to Close Delgaudio Loophole?

Following what Del. Randy Minchew (R-10) describes as a “Lazarus Play,” a bill intended to hold elected officials to tighter ethical controls is headed for a committee vote Friday morning. – Leesburg Today

I wonder if Dems who blog up here all the time and complain will give Delegate Minchew some credit for keeping the bill alive — and for our Loudoun Board for supporting it too. There were positive comments about the bill at last night’s Board of Supervisors meeting – The Naked Truth

Credit where credit is due. Del. Minchew’s bill to close the Delgaudio Loophole in state law that allows elected officials to abuse public resources just because they’re “part-time” in the eyes of the law is back for a vote in the House of Delegates. This is a good thing, and credit to the Delegates who helped make this happen, including Del. Minchew.

That being said, it is well worth observing two disturbing implications of this “Lazarus Play.”

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The Best Legislature Money Can Buy

giftMoneyWhy should our state legislators in the General Assembly get any gifts at all?

Don’t we pay them enough already?

If we don’t pay them enough, then we should raise their salaries, if we think they deserve more, but, otherwise, they shouldn’t get any gifts from high-paid lobbyists and independent operators seeking legislative or executive branch “favors.”

Former Governor Bob McDonnell plainly couldn’t afford to serve as Governor, given his “unconscionable” credit card debt, and certainly not without private gifts to cover his expenses.

Legislators and executives who can’t afford to serve without betraying the public’s trust may not “serve” at all. Continue reading

LaRock Undermines Transportation

Since being elected to the General Assembly in November, Delegate David “Tax Pig” LaRock has been doing exactly what we would have expected of the man opposed to Rail to Dulles: Proposing bills to kill off badly needed transportation projects in Loudoun and Northern Virginia. LaRockBills-2014 Though couched as legislation to correct funding injustices (“injustices,” it must be noted, that were discussed, debated, legislated, and adjudicated through proper small “d” democratic processes over the course of many years), the practical impact of these bills would be to kill all the life that has been breathed in to transportation fixes in Loudoun over the past few years. Life only made possible by the painstaking, difficult, bi-partisan, efforts of leaders like Mark Herring.

Perhaps most egregious are his bills to arbitrarily reduce the allocation of funding to mass transit in favor of more roads. (Bacon’s Rebellion has a right-leaning, but generally evenhanded analysis of these bills.) That’s right, roads over transit, because conservative.

It had been my plan to try to compose a few more paragraphs of analysis of the bills in question. But really, the impracticality and obstinacy of the philosophy underpinning them can only be summarized thusly:
Facepalm

It is equally exasperating to note the only other bills LaRock has sponsored are to codify a tax credit (not a deduction, a credit) for home and private schooling, which serves to gut public education funding, and bills to simplify the process of transferring ownership of guns from one person to another.

Notably absent from Mr. LaRock’s list of sponsored bills? Any bill helping maintain open space in his District. Or helping farmers. Or addressing the unique needs of small school communities in the west. Or dealing with the water issues his constituents in Raspberry Falls have faced. Or, frankly, any bill not directly birthed by some narrow-minded, right-wing talking point.

Because conservative.

Here Come the Social Issues

Question: Does Victoria Cobb have dementia, or does she just believe that other Virginians do?

In an email she sent us this week, with the actual subject line “Here Come the Social Issues,” the Virginia Family (not yours) Foundation president tells us that, because there is now a Democratic majority* in the state senate, “Senator Democrats [sic] will elevate their abortion and sex agenda** to their top priority,” and “there is little doubt that ‘social issues’ will dominate their agenda in the coming days.”

I will pause here so that anyone who has been living in Virginia for the last decade or two can finish laughing.

There certainly has been quite a bit of forgetfulness lately on the part of individuals who have made an “abortion and sex agenda” their top priority, hasn’t there? And Victoria’s forgetfulness about her own organization’s mission has just shot to the top of the hit parade, as further down in the very same email she mentions the 2011 TRAP*** law that she and her allies in the General Assembly engineered by adding anti-abortion provisions to an unrelated law. And you might think that Victoria would want to present the means by which this law was passed as a legitimate process driven by evidence and debate. You would be wrong.

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Lessons Learned, by John Whitbeck

John Whitbeck, Park View High School mass meeting, 2013-12-16

John Whitbeck, Park View High School mass meeting, 2013-12-16

John Whitbeck’s post-election-loss message contains some “lessons learned” that you might find interesting.

Those of you who know me well know that I am not one to get down when things don’t go my way.  In fact, I am already excited to move on to the next phase of my work on behalf of Virginians. That phase has become very clear to me after the results of yesterday’s election and let me share a few observations and goals with you.

First, the Republican Party is not as united as it could be and we need to find a way to correct this very soon.  There are several issues that have created factions within the Party and we need to find a way to reconcile these disagreements if we are going to maximize our success in elections.

There are several issues that have created factions? Could one of those issues be that first Dave LaRock, and then John Whitbeck, maligned twenty year Republican incumbent Joe May with epithets usually reserved for opponents representing the other party? And that the 10th CD under John Whitbeck then chose an exclusionary method for nominating…John Whitbeck?
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Trick or Treat – another election

Halloween_Trick_or_TreatWe Irish know in our genetic sinews, no scholarship need be considered, that Halloween, or all Hallows’ Eve, springs from the medieval Gaelic Samhain, marking the end of harvest and the beginning of the darker half of the year.

It is little wonder then that we have most of our elections as the natural light dims and darkness grows.

In one tradition of All Hallows’ Eve, souls wander the earth until this evening for their one last chance to gain vengeance.

This election season we have the feeling our candidates are making the holy day’s danse macabre their inspiring motivator, calculating a revenge comprised of how they may get theirs — at our expense.

The right to vote that we “enjoy” is a forced choice made before the primary or caucus is held, the product of back room paper and power shuffling that pre-selected whom we may consider.

The districts themselves are drawn not rationally but by the force of numbers in the line-drawing state legislature with one clear purpose – to pre-determine each election’s outcome.

Our voting discretion is “informed” by tall yarns, name calling and distracting issues that make the blood boil.

One clamoring voice outshouts another with high cost hard copy and electronic propaganda that muddle or drown out any contrary fact or opinion.

The election “trick” is the threat of how bad it will be if you don’t choose the imperious “me.”

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Deny Supervisor Delgaudio’s Funding Request

The Loudoun County BoS will vote on a request to grant Supervisor about $5,000 for a campaign newsletter. If the BoS understands the purpose of the newsletter, they’ll deny the request. Regarding the situation, there’s a good letter in the online version of the Leesburg Today that exposes the machinations of Supervisor Delgaudio’s use of taxpayer funded newsletters. The letter also demonstrates the possible illegal collaboration between the Sterling Supervisor and Dave LaRock’s 33rd House District campaign.

How much information was shared? Were voter lists shared? Was the value of the information reported as an in-kind contribution? There are many, many outstanding questions. The letter is inlined below, emphasis mine. Continue reading

LaRock Wins! It’s a Landslide!

The votes are in. Dave LaRock defeats May 57% to 43%. The  Republican establishment loses. The Christianist fringe wins. The turnout was pathetic, 5158 Republican votes.

Twenty-two hundred people voted for May. He probably spent $100K in mailers. That’s $45 per voter, and he lost. It’s not the money. It’s something else.

What is it?

What are we going to do about it?

Evan Mantel’s Whistleblower Letter

Having worked for Dave LaRock’s 1789 Project, Evan Mantel, a recent graduate of Patrick Henry College, says he is now “cynical towards politics.”

I wonder if he’s also now cynical toward our local press. Mantel’s letter to the editor describing his unpleasant experience appeared in the Loudoun Times Mirror on May 2, and was removed on May 5. I’m still waiting to hear an explanation for the removal, but given other recent conduct by the LaRock campaign the application of pressure to the editor seems likely. If that turns out to be true, it’s very disappointing behavior from a candidate for public office.

Luckily, the original letter was saved in Google’s webcache. It reveals a pattern of self-indulgence, abuse, and theft of labor hours. See for yourself: The letter is reproduced here, just in case LaRock’s campaign to represent Virginia’s 33rd District is successful at bullying Google, too. Continue reading